Where would you go to see Blackbirds, Song Thrushes, House Sparrows, Starlings, Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Yellowhammers, Dunnocks and Skylarks? Try New Zealand! All these species – and some others from Australia – were introduced by the early (white) settlers and are mostly thriving. Among other introduced species are the Indian Myna, the Eastern Rosella and various morphs of the good old Mallard.
Raptors are few and far between in NZ, apart from the local Harrier, which is as common as Buzzards are here. There is a falcon, similar to our Kestrel, but I didn't see one.
If you are in the right place at the right time, there are plenty of shorebirds and pelagics to be seen, but I managed relatively few: Redbilled Gull, Blackbacked Gull, Australasian Gannet, New Zealand Dotterel, Spurwinged Plover, Pied Stilt, Variable Oystercatcher and two out of the fourteen species of Shag (Cormorant) that are on the country's list.
Most of the endemics are threatened, rare or even extinct, at least on the mainland. Islands are now the main stronghold of threatened species, because it is easier to eliminate the introduced pest species that have caused the problem: rats, stoats, possums, feral cats, hedgehogs and so on. I visited one such island, called Tiritiri Matangi, a short ferry ride from the mainland north of Auckland, where I was lucky enough to see several species that most kiwis have heard of but never seen: Stitchbird, North Island Saddleback, North Island Robin, Bellbird, Red-crowned Parakeet, Brown Quail, Brown Teal, and a real prize, the Kokako, also known as the Purple-wattled Crow.
It's not much of a list, I know, but I went to New Zealand to be with my family, not to birdwatch. Even so, I managed a handful of “lifers” for my little-boy-collectors' list.